In the context of the ‘iFuture’ research project, 341 18-year-old Sardinian students were asked to write an essay in which they imagined themselves at 90 and described what their futures (in the past) would look like. Such data allow us to investigate the notion of agency. Agency and the future are deeply intertwined: agency involves the idea of projection and implies anticipation; the ‘desired’ futures have an impact on the ways in which youth act in the world today. We focus on the analysis of one of the emerging findings, which expresses an interesting configuration of youth agency, namely the imagination of youth mobility. This finding expresses the desire to put some projects into place, yet it concurrently implies that youth believe that these projects are impossible to achieve in the current context. After offering an overview of imagined destinations, we identify two ways in which imagined mobility emerges from the rich material collected: (a) mobility as an entry ticket, to bypass the uncertainty associated with crude reality and (b) mobility as an occasion for self-experimentation and self-growth. We conclude by discussing in what ways these forms of imagined future mobilities may be seen as youth agency.

Students’ narratives of the future: imagined mobilities as forms of youth agency?

CUZZOCREA, VALENTINA;MANDICH, GIULIANA
2016

Abstract

In the context of the ‘iFuture’ research project, 341 18-year-old Sardinian students were asked to write an essay in which they imagined themselves at 90 and described what their futures (in the past) would look like. Such data allow us to investigate the notion of agency. Agency and the future are deeply intertwined: agency involves the idea of projection and implies anticipation; the ‘desired’ futures have an impact on the ways in which youth act in the world today. We focus on the analysis of one of the emerging findings, which expresses an interesting configuration of youth agency, namely the imagination of youth mobility. This finding expresses the desire to put some projects into place, yet it concurrently implies that youth believe that these projects are impossible to achieve in the current context. After offering an overview of imagined destinations, we identify two ways in which imagined mobility emerges from the rich material collected: (a) mobility as an entry ticket, to bypass the uncertainty associated with crude reality and (b) mobility as an occasion for self-experimentation and self-growth. We conclude by discussing in what ways these forms of imagined future mobilities may be seen as youth agency.
capacity to aspire; essays; future; Imagined mobility; Sardinia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/116190
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